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Hats Ahoy!

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Costume and makeup are essential elements of cinema and other media today, especially for live action features.  In this simple and fun Media Lit Moment, your students will have the chance to learn how costume choices help create the characters they see on screen. 

 

Ask students to compare and contrast two shots of an actor in and out of costume(Johnny Depp as himself, and as Captain Jack Sparrow of “Pirates of the Caribbean”) 

AHA!: It takes a hat and a lot of makeup to make someone look like a pirate!

Core Question #2:  What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

Core Concept #2:  Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules

Grade Level:  K-3  

Materials:  Two images of Johnny Depp as himself and as that dangerous pirate of the high seas, Captain Jack Sparrow

Depp as himself:

http://www.hollywoodtoday.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/johnny-depp2.jpg

Depp as Jack Sparrow:

http://www.moviemobsters.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/JackSparrow300.jpg

Activity:  Display or pass out copies of the two images.  Ask students what kind of character Depp has turned into.  Is he a fireman?  An astronaut?  Once they come to consensus that he looks like a pirate, ask, what  makes him look like a pirate?  What changes were made to make him look like a pirate?  Next, start asking questions to help them understand that Depp is an actor playing a character.  For example:  Do you think he’s a pirate all the time?  Once students understand that costume and make-up are key to the transformation, you may want to emphasize that the people who make movies spend a lot of time and money doing  just this kind of thing to turn actors into pirates, aliens and other fantastic characters.     

Extended Activity:   Have a hat party!   

Key Question #2 for Producers:  Does my message reflect understanding in format, creativity?

 Materials and Equipment:  half a dozen colorful, character-y hats; Polaroid-style camera or digital camera, computer and printer 

Ask students to take pictures of each other with and without the hats.  Students could do so in pairs, but with six hats, you or the students can take four or five group pictures of six students each.  Ask students to compare pictures with and without the hats.  What changes do they see?  What kinds of characters do they look like when they’ve put on their hats?      

 The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, © 2002-2010, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com           

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 September 2010 15:56 )
 

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

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We’ve all done it.  We read news articles in a hurry, browsing headlines until we settle on a story that interests us, and typically forget what it was that brought us “there.”  Did it promise to give a personal “angle” to a story that seemed too big and abstract by itself, like political violence in Iraq?  Did the headline suggest that you might not be able to afford that trip to Europe this summer?  Or did the photo bring you into the action at the World Cup final?

In this MediaLit Moment, your students will have the chance to explore how news organizations use photos to attract customers to their product, and how the creative techniques used in news photos can immediately telegraph the significance of a story to readers.  This MediaLit Moment starts with only the photo itself, so it should keep your students guessing and having fun along the way!                 

Have students analyze the narrative and creative techniques of a news photograph

AHA!:    I want to read this article because of the interesting photo! 

Key Question #2:  What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

Core Concept #2:  Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

Key Question #3:  How might different people understand this message differently?

Core Concept #3:  Different people experience the same media message differently.

Grade Level:  8-10

 

Materials:  Computer with high-speed internet access and classroom data projector; or printed copies of online news photo and news story.

Here’s the link to the story, “Forget India, Outsource to Arkansas,” from CNNMoney.com:  http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/08/smallbusiness/rural_onshoring/In the photo, a man in a business suit stands next to a row of corn in a large cornfield.  When you have found the story, “grab” and copy the photo and place it in a new window, then project or print the photo, depending on your instructional needs.  

Activity: Project or pass out copies of the news photo, and let students know that they’re going to learn about the difference between fact and opinion, which is an important skill to use whenever they read a news story.  Ask them to describe the photo.  What exactly do they see?  What makes the photo worth a second look? Then invite them to make their best guesses about the topic of the story, and ask them to explain why they believe their explanation is likely to be true.  You might even want to take a vote to see whether any particular explanation wins out. 

 

Next, display or pass out the news story, including headline, caption and full text.  You may wish to briefly discuss outsourcing as a business practice with your students, including the political controversy that outsourcing can generate.  Direct students’ attention to the second paragraph, which is the lead paragraph for the story.  You may wish to discuss how the essentials of the story are contained in this paragraph using the 5 W’s and the H (Who?  What?  Where?  When?  Why?  How?)  Next, ask students to compare and contrast the “true” story to the stories they invented to match the photo.  At some point, ask, how is this photo a good match for the story they’re reading now?  How does it help tell the story?   Depending on the needs, interests and skills of your students, you can stop reading the article at this point, or read the first eight paragraphs (before the story discusses various companies and their onshoring strategies).  Or you can adapt this lesson to accommodate a discussion of the entire story. 

 

Finally, focus attention on one question:  how does the photo heighten the reader’s interest in the story? You might explain that news stories themselves attract people in different ways (e.g., by highlighting controversy, or the relevance of the story to people’s lives).  What’s interesting about this story?  (It’s about something unusual or unexpected).  What does the photo add to the story? 

 

Analyzing the creative and narrative techniques deployed in this photograph is one of the most complex tasks for this activity, and we recommend that you allot the greatest amount of time to this portion of the activity.  Consider how you would like to structure this analysis--individually, as a class, in small groups, or through some other instructional format (For example, you could distribute written materials on news values/criteria to an “expert” group of students and ask them to make a brief presentation to the rest of the class).        

Extended Activity:

Key Question #4:  What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in, or omitted from this message?

Core Concept #4:  Media have embedded values and points of view.To some extent, the CNN Money article constructs a narrative in which large companies, regional labor contractors, state and local economic development agencies and rural employees are all enjoying a great honeymoon, if not a marriage made in heaven.  Here are links to other articles on the topic written from other perspectives, or with other purposes in mind:   Rural Sourcing Could Mean Economic Boost for Arkansanshttp://arkansasmatters.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=329565This is a television news story (with transcript) from a local station in Arkansas.  It’s also an example of “boosterism” in the traditional sense of the word. The short length and relatively simple premise of the story makes it a candidate for use within the main activity as well.    

 Eyewitness to Onshoring

http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/eyewitness-to-onshoring

This short expert interview from Modern Machine Shop online suggests that the explanations given in the CNN story for the increased use of “onshoring” are simplistic and unreliable.

 

 ‘Onshoring’ grows as trend to counter business outsourcing

http://www.scrippsnews.com/content/onshoring-grows-trend-counter-business-outsourcing

Article redefines onshoring as a regionalist alternative to outsourcing, and profiles a small toy company in San Francisco which appeals to consumers by producing quality toys and maintaining longer-term contracts with Bay Area producers and suppliers.

 

Outsourcing to Arkansas

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-5449083-7.html  

A short CNET interview with Kathy White, Arkansas native and founder of Rural Sourcing, an IT firm with rural offices (and employees) in two states.  In the interview, White appears as a savvy business strategist who also takes pride in the skills of rural workers.    

 

Onshore Outsourcing:  Made in America

http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/outsourcing/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=162800086

This InformationWeek article is the only mainstream news article we’ve discovered online with any substantive discussion of the potential disadvantages and weaknesses of rural sourcing as a business strategy.  This story is most appropriate for students at the 10th grade or higher.       The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, © 2002-2010, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com  

 

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 July 2010 07:51 )
 

What Would Scooby Do? Branding Children's Television

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Some images, sounds and words retain a strong hold on the American popular imagination for generations, and children’s animated television certainly has its share.  Who can forget the long-haired slacker in the pale green shirt who says “Zoinks!” and cowers in fear while a large, slobbery, talking dog holds him in his hands, er, paws?  Frodo lives, but Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, one of the most popular animated series in American history, lives on and on, its shelf life extended indefinitely through decades of branded merchandising.  In this MediaLit Moment, your students will have the chance to discover how iconic television images are used to enhance the appeal of everyday consumer products through the process of product branding.  The activity included here will also help your students learn how marketers of branded products use creative techniques to attract the attention of a wide range of potential customers.                  

Have students use popular images from a children’s television show to design a concept for a branded consumer product.

AHA!:  The company that produces Scooby Doo puts words and pictures from the show on things that people buy—which makes it more likely that people will buy them!   

Key Question #5:  Why is this message being sent?

Core Concept #5:  Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power.

Key Question #2:  What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

Core Concept #2:  Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

Key Question #3:  How might different people understand this message differently?

Core Concept #3:  Different people experience the same media message differently. 

Grade Level: 4-6

Materials:  overhead projector, transparencies, access to computer and color printer, and the following images downloaded through Google images:

Scooby Doo’s dog tag by itself:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/48/SDtag.png

 

Scooby Doo with tag:  http://www.profilebrand.com/imgs/layouts/30tv-shows/1296/1296_L-scooby-doo.jpg

 Scooby Doo party products:  http://images.celebrateexpress.com/mgen/merchandiser/42113.jpg 

Mystery Machine van without any passengers:  http://www.vectorjunky.com/gallery/s/Scooby-Doo-Mysterymachine-001.jpg 

Mystery Machine van with Scooby Doo characters:  http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/3093/1080384-mystery_machine_large.jpg 

Mystery Machine Lunch Bag:  http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/droolicious/2009/03/lunchboxshop_2039_8532204.jpg 

Activity:  The activity begins with a teaser.  Show the image with only the dog tag and ask students if they have any idea what the tag represents.  Give them verbal clues if you like—that it’s a dog tag, comes from an animated show, belongs to a talking dog, etc.  Or show them the image of the Mystery Machine without any passengers.  Or keep giving them clues until you show them one of the images that clearly reveals the source.  Draw attention to the fact that students can quickly recognize the significance of the images with just a few clues.Next, show them the images of the Scooby Doo branded products.  The words and images from the show that were so easy to recognize are now being used to make everyday objects more interesting.  Who’s going to remember any old lunch bag?  But a lunch bag that looks like the Mystery Van?  The things people buy  are called products.  So, the company 1) uses those easy-to-recognize words and pictures to attract people to the product, and most importantly  2) makes money off of the product when people (called customers) buy it.  You can also tell students that putting these words and pictures on products to attract customers is called branding.


Production Activity:  Key Question #2 for Producers:  Does my message reflect understanding in format, creativity and technology?

Key Question #3 for Producers:  Is my message engaging and compelling for my target audience? 

Before starting with this activity, you may want to ask students to come up with a list of words and pictures that they remember from the show and that other are people are likely to remember, too.  Rut Roh!        


Next, tell students that they’re going to act like they’re part of the company that puts all the words and images (branding) on the products that customers buy.  The company is looking for new products for the Scooby Doo brand.  Ask them to create a concept for a Scooby Doo consumer product that no one has seen before.  (Stick with consumer products rather than media products, since students may easily conflate media products with brand images).  What combination of words and pictures would be good to use to attract customers to this particular product?   Possible ideas to get them started:  Shaggy Hair Care, Daphne’s Fashion Accessories.  Depending on the interests and abilities of your students, you can ask them to come up with anything from short descriptions to fully designed logos and illustrations.  In addition, tell students that they need to be able to answer one question when they’ve finished their concepts:  What exactly did they do to attract customers to this product?  In this case, you’re asking students to talk about creative techniques, and possibly about ways of targeting an audience as well.  It isn’t enough for students to say that customers will like the product just because they see Scooby Doo on it.  For example, if the product is a men’s tie (a product that already exists), a man who works at an office (maybe even their Dad) might like the product because a talking dog is just so silly that it might make his boss and co-workers laugh. 

Extended Activity:

Key Question #3:  How might different people understand this message differently?

Core Concept #3:  Different people experience the same media message differently. 

The history of Scooby Doo’s initial development may also help to explain the show’s broad and long-lasting appeal to audiences.  In the mid- to late 1960s, CBS and Hanna Barbera Productions were under pressure from parent’s television groups who objected to the gratuitous violence of Johnny Quest and other Hanna Barbera action cartoons.  Fred Silverman, executive in charge of CBS children’s television programming, looked to two sources for inspiration:  I Love a Mystery, a 1940s radio program which followed the pulp fiction adventures of three detectives bent on solving mysterious crimes around the world, and the 1959-1963 television sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, about a scatterbrained teenager and his friends.  Scooby Doo would reference the suspenseful and supernatural elements of the radio show, but with Dobie Gillis as a touchstone, violence was left out of the new series, and so were the masculine stereotypes reinforced by earlier animation action heroes.  In the extended activity, help students learn more about Core Concept #3 by having them compare Scooby Doo with a children’s show that does feature action characters or superheroes.  The second show should also have a large product line and a successful history of branding products.  Iron Man might be a good choice.  Students should ask questions about the likely audience(s) for each show, and how these shows appeal to their audiences.  They should also ask questions about the creative techniques and audience strategies that marketers would use to sell products from each product line.    

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, © 2002-2010, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com

Last Updated ( Friday, 31 March 2017 11:42 )
 

Homer Simpson: Playful Parenting or Living Dangerously?

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It’s hard to find criticism that considers such shows as The Simpsons and The Family Guy as cultural artifacts worthy of serious study.  And yet many children do pay attention to the social landscape of these shows.  Here’s a quote from one young viewer of The Simpsons: “Although TV fathers are unrealistic, my Dad is more like Homer Simpson—trying to understand me even if we’re worlds apart.  I love the fact that he tries” –Mia, Age 12 (from Perceptions of Fathers in the Media: In Search of the Ideal Father, companion DVD).

The focus of this MediaLit Moment is a scene from The Simpsons Movie which highlights the father-son relationship between Bart and Homer Simpson.  Our appreciation of the relationship between these characters is complicated by the fact that they appear in an animated comedy—a cartoon.  They’re having a great deal of fun, but their rough play is so dangerous that no viewer in their right mind would ever “try this at home.”  If the scene is to be taken at all seriously, a viewer of any age might ask, “Is Homer a responsible Dad?” 

In this MediaLit Moment, your students will have the chance to explore varied and even conflicting reactions to an animated sequence.  They’ll be able to more fully study the generic conventions of cartoons; and, of course, they’ll have an opportunity to apply Key Questions and Core Concepts of media literacy to the characters they see on the small screen. 

This lesson is adapted with permission from “The Error of Our Ways,” a lesson by Dr. Janice Kelly from Perceptions of Fathers in the Media: In Search of the Ideal Father, a curriculum created by staff of the New York State Fatherhood Initiative and published by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.    

Have students answer questions to stimulate their moral imagination about the family relationships in an animated feature, and relate their discussions to Core Concepts/Key Questions #2 – 3. 

AHA!:  It’s not so easy to say if Homer Simpson is a positive portrayal of a Dad when he’s a cartoon!   

Key Question #3:  How might different people understand this message differently?

Core Concept #3:  Different people experience the same media message differently. 

Key Question #2:  What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

Core Concept #2:  Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

Grade Level:  6-8 

Materials:  DVD of The Simpsons Movie and DVD player.

The sequence in question shows Homer and Bart on the roof of the family home.  On a dare, Bart climbs up to the top of the TV antenna while Homer attempts to shake him down.  Bart rolls down the roof and is left hanging onto the rain gutter when Flanders, the next door neighbor, asks Homer if Bart might become a “paraplegarino” if he falls.

Activity:  Begin by asking students for their initial reactions.  Next, ask if they think Homer is behaving in a fun or irresponsible manner.  This discussion should last no more than a few minutes, but do draw attention to the differences in their reactions to “prime” them for a later discussion of audience and Core Concept #3.   In this activity, students will study this sequence from a few different angles. 

Ask the class to form groups of three to four students which will complete one of three tasks: 

1)    Ask students to compare other TV/Movie father-son relationships. Have them make a list of TV fathers (and sons) and poll members of their groups to find out which fathers are most appealing to them and why.  What do they like or dislike about the father-son relationship of Homer and Bart Simpson?  Is there any difference of opinion between group members as they answer these questions?  If so, can they explain why they feel the way they do?    In addition to asking students to spend time evaluating what they like or dislike about the relationship between Homer and Bart, this task asks students to focus on Core Concept #3 (Different people experience the same media message differently).  As they poll each other and discover differences of opinion, they may also become aware that they are attracted to different kinds of characters or relationships for different reasons.   

2)    Have students write a short scenario in which the elements of the sequence from the Simpsons Movie are played out as an action movie.  Just like the Simpsons sequence, one character is shaken off of a TV antenna, and one character falls through the roof. Alternatively, students can write a real-life scenario utilizing the same basic elements. The purpose of this task is for students to understand that audience expectations are different from genre to genre.  In an action movie, people get hurt more easily, and a scene on a roof suggests a lot of tension.  In a real-life scenario, falling through the roof would count as a tragedy.  If students spend a little time thinking about the fact that animation is a genre to itself, they should have an easier time thinking about the combination of danger and play in the original scene.  This task is most closely tied to Core Concept #2:  Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.    

3)    Ask students to discuss their reactions to Flanders, the next door neighbor. Is he right to be concerned?   Do they think he’s nosy?   Are there any differences of opinion about Flanders within the group?  Also, what reaction do they think that the creators of the movie hoped to generate from the audience by playing Bart and Homer against Flanders in this scene?  This task addresses Key Question #2 as well as Core Concept #3.   As with the groups tackling the first task, students may discover that they react differently to different characters for different reasons.  The question about creative choices hinges on Key Question #2, “What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?”  While an animated feature automatically evokes certain expectations from the audience, the producers of this movie are also working actively to shape the response of the audience as well.   Allow students up to fifteen minutes to complete their tasks, as writing a complete scenario might take a little time.   

Finally, lead a whole class discussion in which students draw from their new knowledge and perspectives to answer the question of whether Homer was having good, clean, fatherly fun with Bart or whether he really should have avoided putting his son’s life in danger.  While discussion should focus on the sequence, do allow them to draw on their knowledge of Homer from other Simpsons episodes that they may have viewed.  In leading the discussion, look for opportunities to help students become aware of the interplay between their reactions to the scene and the reactions--most often the “laughs”--that the producers were hoping to draw out of them.         

In some respects, the students who completed Task #1 are the moral arbiters for the rest of the class.  You may want to ask them to lead a discussion of the general characteristics of what they consider to be good parenting as they talk about the relationship between Bart and Homer.  As they note differences of opinion, they should keep in mind CC/KQ #3. 

With students who have completed Task #2, discuss the fact that different genres (or types) of media often follow different rules in stories where dangerous situations are involved (KQ#2).  You may also want to point out that cartoons often include incidents of “happy violence.”  Those incidents grab the attention of viewers, and the lack of serious consequences makes it possible for audiences to laugh “off” several incidents in a single sequence.  

In discussing the sequence with the students who completed Task #3, you may want to ask students for their character assessments of Bart, Homer and Flanders together.  Flanders is generally one of the “wimpier” characters on the show, so asking this question may trigger a discussion about masculinity.  If that happens, continue to focus on Core Concept #2 by asking what reactions they think the creators of the show hope to generate from audiences by creating different kinds of male characters.         

Extended Activity: Start planning a longer term project on fathers as they appear in different media genres and ask students to take notes and/or collect short samples.  Ask questions as students gather their collection of media Dads.  Who are the advertisers for the shows on which they appear?  What kind of audience do they think each show or movie appeals to?  What patterns do they see in similar media genres?  Do any of these things help them predict the kind of father character they’re likely to encounter in each new media sample?     

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, © 2002-2010, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 May 2010 19:00 )
 

Prepare for Pandemic or Pass the KIeenex?

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In 1976, an epidemic of swine flu was expected in the United States, and the federal government took bold action, releasing public service announcements over television airwaves and vaccinating 45 million Americans, an unprecedented number at that time. The epidemic never came, but three elderly Pittsburgh residents died soon after receiving their vaccinations at the same clinic.  Though scientists believe the deaths were coincidental, some news reports suggested the vaccine had killed them.  “Press frenzy was so intense it drew a televised rebuke from Walter Cronkite for sensationalizing coincidental happenings,” writes Dr. David J. Sencer, then-director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (McNeil, “Don’t Blame Flu Shots for All Ills, Officials Say,” New York Times, September 28, 2009).  In 1976, the CDC did not hold news conferences, and it took five days to respond to the deaths in Pennsylvania.    

Fast forward to the spring of 2009:  A global pandemic of H1N1 swine flu takes off suddenly.  Though the initial fatality rate is low, the rate could easily climb depending on the ways in which the virus mutates over time.  The US government orders 250 million doses of H1N1 vaccine.  A small but influential movement of anti-vaccine activists has raised concerns about infant and child vaccinations. To stave off rumors which could circulate easily on the Internet and on 24-hour television news outlets, the CDC creates a “flu.gov” website, posts updates on Facebook and Twitter, and assembles a media “war room” in its Atlanta headquarters.  News conferences are held there almost daily, all of which are posted to the CDC website (McNeil, op. cit).  

In 2010, the communications of health agencies deserve study because those agencies must make creative decisions about how to frame messages about health risks in a media environment which can encourage panic as well as complacency and even denial.  In this MediaLit Moment, your students will have the chance to compare two health-related PSAs to understand the purposes for which they were created, and to recognize the differing points of view they present with regard to comparable risks.       

Have students compare two public service announcements to demonstrate their understanding of purpose and point of view.

AHA!:  Different strategies for talking about health risks can really change the end product!   

Key Question #5:  Why was this message sent?

Core Concept #5:  Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power

Key Question #4:  What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

Core Concept #4:  Media have embedded values and points of view 

Grade Level:  8-10 

Materials:  computer with broadband access and data projector to display YouTube videos at the following URLs: 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASibLqwVbsk    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT9fxhrjoQc 

The first link is for two 1976 PSAs produced by the CDC in anticipation of a swine flu epidemic.  The second PSA, which shows the spread of the virus from person to person, is generally the best for comparison.  The second link is for a PSA produced by the UK Department of Health at the height of the H1N1 epidemic.  This is a humorous PSA which shows how easily any germ can be spread in public spaces. 

Activity:  As always, show videos more than once.  As students give you their reactions, make sure to ask them “What?” questions to compare the content and techniques of the two ads.  What happened? For example, the CDC message shows one infected person travelling to a variety of destinations, while the UK Department of Health ad shows one infected person in an enclosed space (an elevator).  Also ask, What made the first ad scary?  What made the second ad funny?  Questions about purpose come next.  Why did the two agencies produce these ads?  What were these agencies hoping that people would do in response to them?  And ask why the ads were presented in such different ways.  Why did the CDC produce a scary ad, and why did the British government decide to make their ad funny?  What messages were they trying to send about the risks involved in spreading swine flu virus?  Next, divide the class into pairs or small groups, and explain that they’ll be adding something to their ads or changing them slightly to show what they know about the purpose behind them.  Work to ensure that a roughly equal number of groups choose each PSA.  Give your students the choice to write a title for their ad, or to write a different ending or “tag” line for the announcer.  Their lines can be goofy or even make fun of the ad itself, but they still have to demonstrate the purpose of the ad.  When students have finished their work, share and discuss the alternative versions of the ads as time allows.

Extended Activity:  Key Question #3 for Producers:  Is my message engaging and compelling for my target audience?    Ask students to come up with their own concepts for an influenza PSA, and ask students to consider the following as they prepare their PSA concepts:  Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota said that criticizing the government for its aggressive response to the threat of the H1N1 virus is like criticizing officials for building dikes in New Orleans to withstand a Category 5 hurricane when only a Category 3 storm comes ashore (Stobbe, “Is the Swine Flu Epidemic Over?”, AP, February 5, 2010).

Ask students if they were health officials who were uncertain of the threat of mortality posed by the virus, but knew that it could be devastating, what kind of PSA would they produce?  

Have students consider this information as they decide on strategies for getting the attention of their audience: In late September 2009, swine flu cases rapidly increased across the country.  The H1N1 vaccine became available in mid-October, and people waited in lines--sometimes for hours--at clinics offering the vaccine.  By mid-December, the epidemic seemed to be waning.  By the end of January 2010, only a fifth of Americans had received the vaccine, according to data released by the CDC.  A poll taken in late January by the Harvard School of Public Health also found that most Americans had assumed the pandemic was over and thought the threat was overblown (McNeil, “Most American Think Swine Flu Pandemic Is Over, a Harvard Poll Finds,” New York Times, February 6, 2010). 

When this newsletter was published, some health experts still expected a “third wave” of H1N1 in fall of 2010.  In 1976, vaccines were enthusiastically welcomed.  Many parents or grandparents still remembered children dead of smallpox, measles and polio.  Today, anti-vaccine activists reach a wide audience on the Internet, and many concerned parents believe that vaccines may cause health problems in children.  Among parents surveyed in the Harvard poll, many cited fear of side effects as a reason why their families did not receive the vaccinations.           

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, © 2002-2010, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 March 2010 08:07 )
 


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 global education
 globalization
 heuristics nudge theory and the internet of things
 history of media literacy
 leadership elizabeth thoman
 len masterman and the big ideas of media literacy
 libraries museums and informal learning
 maps and media literacy
 media and body image
 media and information literacy
 media and information literacy part 2
 media deconstruction as essential learning skill
 media literacy computational thinking
 media literacy risk assessment
 media literacy and 21st century skills
 media literacy and arts education
 media literacy and common core
 media literacy and human rights
 media literacy and masculinity
 media literacy and media construction
 media literacy and nutrition
 media literacy and personal data management
 media literacy and pharmaceutical advertising
 media literacy and science
 media literacy and student empowerment
 media literacy and the environment
 media literacy and video games
 media literacy early childhood education
 media literacy for grown ups
 media literacy in the community
 media literacy pioneers
 media literacy policy and legislation
 media morals and empowerment
 media representation lgbtq
 media violence and media relationships
 media violence
 monsters and media literacy
 new curriculum and media literacy
 online privacy and media literacy
 online safety
 parents and media literacy
 participation in what
 professional development for media literacy
 propaganda and media literacy
 reality tv and media literacy
 redefining school communities
 research media literacy
 responding to racism and stereotypes in media
 sexism in media
 social networking
 sports and media literacy
 systems thinking and media literacy
 teaching healthy skepticism
 television and media literacy
 the mediated city and the public
 the role of journalism in society
 trust through technology
 us department of education
 voices of media literacy
 what media literacy is and is not
 whats in a name
 where are we now institutionalizing media literacy

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